I Found My Sticky Writing in Bed
I wanted to write. But I felt empty of words. So I sat on my bed, opened How to Read a Poem: And Fall in Love with Poetry, and started... reading.
The author was talking about his first brush with grief poetry— the image of Achilles with his face in the dirt. The image stuck. So much so that when the author dealt with a friend's death years later, Achilles somehow consoled him.
"Poetry is a stubborn art," the author concluded. By this he meant that poetry refuses to let humanity go. It sets down a record of our deepest feelings. It gives us a place to lay our heads.
I sat in bed and thought about this. I thought about my struggle to write poetry. I realized I needed to let my poetry be a stubborn art.
It was raining, and I'd just been reading a poem in David Wheeler's upcoming book. You wouldn’t/ believe all the water teeming/ in the cracks of our streets/ ...We/could almost be swept away. The rhythm of rain was on my mind. I could almost feel it moist-tapping my skin.
So I began with the rain and this is what came (see below). Other poems, perhaps more stubborn and sticky, followed.
In the end, I found my sticky writing in bed. This wasn't on Heath & Heath's "how-to" list. But as Linda noted in one of her recent comments to me, sometimes a quiet place is where we find our best words, a place to lay our heads.
I must hear my way
to the rain,
what do you do
when the rain is falling,
and whispered night comes early,
in the orchard, red, unspoken for,
like the rain.
Autumn Trees at Pound Ridge, photo by L.L. Barkat.
Over at TheHighCalling.org we're reading and discussing Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die, by Heath & Heath. Want to join us? :)